Ironwood Ridge’s Jake Matthews looks to play Division I baseball - The Explorer: Sports

Ironwood Ridge’s Jake Matthews looks to play Division I baseball

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Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 4:00 am

Coming off winning a state championship in football this last year, Jake Matthews, a senior baseball player on the Ironwood Ridge High School team is determined to add another state championship to the list.

“I just want to lead and help the team as much as I can so we can win state,” said Matthews. “I got a taste of it with football and I want the same for baseball.”

Like most athletes, Matthews started playing baseball at age five and played year-around on club teams and Little League Baseball. As he got older, it was not uncommon to see him hitting with his brother and dad on the weekends in efforts to improve his game. His brother, Clay Matthews, currently plays on the Pima Community College baseball team.

“My dad is the one who got me into playing baseball but I never felt like he pressured me to play,” said Matthews. “I loved playing and it’s what I wanted to do.”

His love and passion for baseball paid off as he played short stop on varsity his freshmen year of high school and continued to hold that position throughout the next three years. Taking up the head coaching position Matthews’ sophomore year, Dennis Toia, has watched him grow into a leader by his example and athletic abilities.

“He is hardworking and has a very strong work ethic that the other players look up to,” said Toia. “There are five tools for a baseball player: foot speed, power, average, fielding, and throwing; Jake has all of those. He also has leadership which he’s brought with him from this last season in football where he led his team to win state.”

Matthews’ solid performance in football is also very evident in his baseball. Standing at 6 feet 3 inches with a strong, sturdy build, Matthews has the size and quickness to be a talented athlete. He is quick on his feet with a .955 fielding percentage. His current batting average is .575 and his on base percentage is .625.

“The sky’s the limit for him,” said Toia. “Division I level coaches have been coming left and right to look at him.”

With college baseball scholarships already offered from the University of Arizona, University of Washington, Arkansas State University and more, Matthews has more than a couple options to choose from. So how will Matthews decide?

“I’m going to go with my gut feeling as to what is best,” said Matthews. “I’ll look at the big picture and see what I like and where I’ll fit best.”

Matthew is looking forward to playing college baseball and pursuing a degree in the medical field.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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